One of the harder realities that come of growing up is the realization that life brings with it some serious trials and tribulations; not least are heart ache and the loss of love. Thankfully, we usually know at least one person who will share that burden with us – a sister, or a best friend – and who will help us face dark moments. Sometimes, we are lucky enough to have someone in our lives who reassures us, talks sense to us when we’re about to make a mistake (or totally screwed it up already!), and is equally at home celebrating the good moments we enjoy, too. But not all of us are friends with Oprah, and for the rest of us there is Delilah, the nationally syndicated radio host who doles out a side of musical inspiration with her empathetic and, often, down-to-earth words of encouragement and support.
Born Delilah Luke, Delilah (the person) is a Christian single mother of 11 children, an author, and the founder of Point Hope, a charity that supports children in need to include foster children and children in Ghana.
Delilah (the radio program) is known for a multitude of reasons; there’s the silky smooth honeyed voice that sounds like a hug, the peppering of blessings and grace-giving. There is also no mistaking the adult-contemporary musical selections, or the corresponding, passionate responses to callers. It seems she listens intently to each person who gets on the line to share with her, and the 8 million or so weekly listeners attracted to the Delilah show. Delilah is also a huge supporter of the military and military families, a huge supporter of women and a huge fan of love. Her program might not be for everyone, particularly as her main demographic is female and 25–54, but her holiday shows are a fantastic amalgam of winter wonderland, and a cozy chat by the fire – fans of the show will swear up and down that it is Delilah’s show that gives us the warm fuzzies for the winter. So I figured, if Delilah can create at least the illusion of a season, what better way to say farewell to the winter blues than a conversation with the sunniest personality on the air waves?
Your show has been described as “an uplifting mixture of conversation, insightful thoughts, sharing, song requests, and pop music.” Do you enjoy your chosen career? Was there ever an alternative?
I used to think I would grow up and be a physician. I wanted to be a doctor, to do surgeries and stitch folks up, to set broken bones and find a cure for major diseases. I wanted to heal people through medicine – but I got a job at the local radio station, KDUN, when I was just a teenager. When it was time to go to college, I got a job at a radio station in Eugene, Oregon, working at night and going to school during the day. One day I realized that I WAS doing what I loved! I have found over the years, that my words combined with the lyrics of songs, can heal someone in a powerful way.
I have a theory that music is one of those things that you can take with you anywhere and it provides you with a soundtrack to your life. You have a different relationship with music – dad in a Country-Western band and brother in a Jazz band – what is it about music that inspires you?
I grew up with music in my home every single day. Mom played her records, dad played his guitar, and we had “jam” sessions at our house every single weekend with dad’s country band. Dad’s band was always playing gigs, and us four kids always went along. In addition, my grandparents had music in their house every single day; I know every lyric to every Jim Reeves song ever recorded! And my dad wrote lyrics, I grew up writing as well. So music has been a part of my life all my life, and I learned as a child the powerful impact lyrics and music has on your soul. A song speaks to your heart in the way nothing else does, and that is why my show touches people in such a profound way. If you “marry” a powerful story with a great song, it is such a powerful force.
Three decades in radio demonstrates dedication and masses of experience. In terms of career advice, what do you recommend to someone who wants to follow their dreams?
God has created in every person a special gift, a special desire. If you use your strength and tenacity to follow that dream, to use that gift to bless the world, you will find joy unspeakable. “Career” can be such an empty word, but when you use your passion, your gift, to support yourself, you will have such a great time at work, and you will do great things! My recommendation to anyone, young or old, is do what you love. Use the gifts that God has placed with you to change the world, and in the process, you will have a great career and a LOT of fun!
I have heard plenty of military members and spouses call your show and you always make them feel so cared for and respected. Thank you. Do you have a special message for our service members and their families?
Oh my word, do I love our military! My brother was an officer in the Air Force, my grandpa a navy man, but I had no idea how much our military does for us until I was blessed to go to the Middle East and Afghanistan a few years ago and spend time with our troops. I LOVE our military members and their family members here at home supporting them and praying for them. We live in the greatest nation in the world, and enjoy the most freedoms of any place on earth, all because of our military members! God bless them and protect them and keep them safe.
Catch Delilah’s show on 104.3 WBBQ from 7 p.m.–3 a.m., or find out more about her online on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Delilah or her website, www.Delilah.com